South African firm says its finances will not be hit by halting of Nakheel scheme

South African contractor Murray & Roberts has said that the decision by developer Nakheel to stop work on the Trump tower project in Dubai will not hit its finances.

The R27.9bn (£1.9bn) turnover company, which has a small London office at Hanover Square, is building the hotel and office complex in a joint venture with Al Habtoor Leighton, a partnership between local firm Al Habtoor and Australian contractor Leighton.

But the project has become a high-profile victim of the global recession. Earlier this week Nakheel, which also announced it was axing 500 jobs, put the job on hold.

In a statement, Murray & Roberts, which is also building the Green Point stadium in Cape Town in time for the 2010 football World Cup in its home nation, said that the decision “was not expected to have a material impact on the group's prospects”.

It said suspension of work was likely to be offset by infrastructure work for which it and Al Habtoor Leighton were in advanced negotiations with the Dubai government.

Murray & Roberts' share of the Trump tower contract is R3.2bn (£213m), but it said that only R500,000 (£33m) of this amount was included in numbers for the current financial year, which ends in June 2009.

Work on the 270m-high scheme, which began only in July, features a dozen exclusive townhouses and 4,500m2 of retail space as well as the office and hotel elements.